The 26-year old RHP is in his 6th major league season, and last year took a big step to realizing his potential and becoming an ace of the staff, and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He was a 4th round pick out of high school in 2002. His career has been slowed by injuries (Tommy John surgery cut short his 2007 and 2008 season), and he has only started 20+ games twice in his career (2006 and 2009). Last year he was 15-5, with a 3.23 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, and 22-6 since returning from Tommy John Surgery. He has averaged > 8 k/9 and < 3.3 W/9 for his career, while also posting an impressive ground ball %. This year he made the All-Star team for the second consecutive year. For his career versus the Mets, he is 7-1 in 11 starts, with a 2.55 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. This year he was battling the flu when he faced the Mets on opening day and only lasted 5 innings allowing 4 runs, but on May 13th, he returned back to form, throwing 7 innings and allowing only 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 7 in a no-decision.
Josh Johnson is 6'7" and throws straight over the top, almost throwing straight down to the hitter. He is a three pitch pitcher, throwing a 93-97 mph fastball, an 88 mph slider with sharp and late bite (28% of pitches), and an occasional 87 mph change-up that sinks away from left-handers. He has increased his use of the slider over the past few years (currently at 28%), and his velocity increased after coming back from Tommy John Surgery (pre-surgery he was throwing 92 mph).
This year Johnson has continued to throw well and is a Cy Young contender, as he is 11-5 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 162 strike outs in 166 2/3 innings. He has had two subpar starts in August, but prior to that, since April 15th, he only had one game where he allowed as many as 3 runs. And that was a span of 19 games. His last start versus the Pirates he went 8 strong innings, and allowed only 2 runs on 7 hits, and both runs came on solo home runs.
He also fared well at the plate last year hitting 3 home runs, but this year he is hitting under .100 and doesn't have an extra base hit. Maybe he should've taken more batting practice during Spring Training.